Leon Patterson was a Southwestern migrant to California who, despite being raised in poverty, became a world-class athlete. Throwing the discus and putting the shot, he left indelible memories at both Taft Union High School and at the University of Southern California. He managed to accomplish remarkable things despite being terminally ill and knowing it. His inner strength was nurtured by a girl named Dixie Kenney, who loved him, by a coach named Tom O'Brien, who all but adopted him, and by the community that sustained them all.
Leon Patterson: A California Story By Gerald Haslam
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